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NCJ Number: 229860 Find in a Library
Title: Social Change, Life Strain, and Delinquency Among Chinese Urban Adolescents
Journal: Sociological Focus  Volume:42  Issue:3  Dated:August 2009  Pages:285-305
Author(s): Wan-Ning Bao; Ain Haas
Date Published: August 2009
Page Count: 21
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined how China's ongoing social transformation has affected its youth using Agnew’s general strain theory (1992, 2006).
Abstract: Findings show that rapid social changes in China are making the lives of adolescents more stressful and contributing to the surge in juvenile delinquency is consistent with the pattern found in other societies with quite different traditions and circumstances, such as Sweden and Israel. Although general strain theory seems quite plausible as an explanation for the new wave of delinquency in China, future researchers are encouraged to seek more definitive evidence to check on this study's assertions. As China's economic reform in the late 1970s has brought about dramatic social change in its progression toward modernization, Chinese urban adolescents have experienced tremendous strains. As they adopt Western values, ideologies, and practices in order to succeed in the new environment, they find traditional Chinese beliefs and customs still central to their sense of identity. Juggling the varied demands of mixed and sometimes conflicting values and practices can be very stressful and often leads to negative emotions. With a scarcity of coping resources in their lives, frustrated adolescents are prone to react to strains with illegitimate means such as delinquency. Figure and references
Main Term(s): Foreign juvenile delinquency
Index Term(s): Behavior under stress; China; Social change-delinquency relationship; Socioeconomic causes of delinquency; Strain theory
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